You may have read about the new bankruptcy bill which is headed for the House. Major provisions include a required means test designed to certain filers from using Chapter 7, as well as added attorney certifications and disclosures. What should we, as church members, think of this?
Politically, there are arguments both ways. The bill’s proponents claim that the means test will crack down on high-net-worth filers who are abusing the system. Opponents claim that the bill leaves open key loopholes and that it will reduce representation because of the new burdens on attorneys. One interesting wrinkle from an LDS perspective is that Utah leads the nation in bankruptcies.
And it seems that religious arguments can be made either way as well. On the one hand, we are counseled to be self-reliant and to learn principles of hard work and industry. If the current system really is allowing people to unjustly escape from debts, then perhaps support for reform can be found in those gospel principles.
On the other hand, we are counseled to forgive our debts as God forgives us. It seems odd to castigate the idea of bankruptcy when our own entire gospel is based on a divine bankruptcy plan, so to speak, wherein all of our debts will be forgiven. In addition, church leaders often ascribe to the idea that mothers ought to remain in the home; to the extent that the new bill forces more mothers into the workforce, it may be negative.
As with the political arguments, it looks like religious arguments give no clear answer here.